John Joe Nevin wins on pro debut in Boston

Mullingar boxer claims unanimous decision over Puerto Rican opponent

Ireland’s John Joe Nevin in action on his professional debut against Puerto Rico’s  Albert Candalaria at the  House of Blues in  Boston on St Patrick’s Day. Photograph:   Emily Harney/Inpho

Ireland’s John Joe Nevin in action on his professional debut against Puerto Rico’s Albert Candalaria at the House of Blues in Boston on St Patrick’s Day. Photograph: Emily Harney/Inpho

Tue, Mar 18, 2014, 10:38

Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin claimed a unanimous decision in his debut as a professional as he beat Puerto Rico’s Alberto Candelaria over six rounds in Boston on St Patrick’s Day.

Fighting at junior lightweight, the 24-year-old from Mullingar started strongly and was in control of the fight from the early rounds as he landed his punches with more regularity than his opponent.

Candelaria was forced to go on the offensive in the closing rounds but Nevin withstood a couple of decent right hands in the fifth and landed some big left hooks in the final round to close out the contest against a previously unbeaten opponent. All three judges scored the bout 59-55 in favour of the Irish fighter.

Dublin lightweight Jamie Kavanagh opened the card at the House of Blues with a unanimous decision over eight rounds against another Puerto Rican fighter in Andres Navarro.

California-based Kavanagh had suffered the only defeat of his pro career in his last fight against Mexican Daniel Ruiz in Cancun last December but bounced back in impressive fashion against an opponent who came in on the back of five straight wins.

Kavanagh started to gain the upper hand in the third round of the fight, landing some solid left hooks to both the head and body of Navarro.

The Irish boxer had to hold off a rally from his opponent in the second half of the fight and suffered a cut above his right eye in the final round.

Kavanagh recorded scores of 79-73, 79-73 and 80-72 from the three judges.

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